Today we went to Shantytown which is NZ’s version of Beamish in the north east of England.
As well as the historic buildings we got to ride on a steam train and pan for gold. We struck gold but not enough to retire on. After looking round the old colonial style buildings we went for lunch in King Dicks Cafe.
We visited the Barbours, church,hospital, fire station and the jail.
We arrived at the drop off point for the Glacier walk which would take us across riverbeds and high up into the mountains to meet Frans Josef. The trek took about 2 1/2 hours but was worth it to see the glacier at ground level. Unfortunately due to global warming the glacier has retreated and we were only allowed to get 250mtrs from it for safety. Sadly where we stood to take photographs would have been under several hundred feet of ice only 6 years ago.
The trip was worth it as we also saw some remarkable countryside as well. As Keli was shattered mum volunteered to stay with him in the camper until we returned, the audiobooks they got through were The Gruffalo (3 times), The Slightly Annoying Elephant (4 times) & Charlie & the Glass Elevator (disc 1 of 3)!!!
Early start this morning again as we have to be at the helicopter booking office by 0845. The early rise was worth it as even before we left for our flight Mt Cook made a brief appearance before being shrouded in mist.
The minibus driver gives us our safety brief before we board & take the short journey down to the helipad.
Rees & Keli get put in the front beside the pilot (Brayden) mum & dad are in the back seat!! We are all belted in & headsets on so we can hear the pilot talking to us as well as the air control.
We took off and were soon above the low cloud and the amazing sight of Mt Cook could be seen, we climbed slowly and soon Fox Glacier came into view. It was truly breathtaking a shimmering ice blue and impressive contours.
After touring the length of the Glacier we travelled higher up to the snow fields at about 6000mtrs we landed on the snow for a photo opportunity and a brief time to take in the natural beauty of the mountains.
All to soon our time on the snow was up and we took off again following the alpine ridge to Frans Josef Glacier to again look in wonder at this natural creation.
We circled the glacier 1 last time before taking a loop of Fox Township and landing back at base.
We returned to the motorhome and got ready to move on but only down to Frans Josef so we could see the glacier from a different perspective.
We arrived in Fox early afternoon and booked into the Fox Top10 site.
It was a sunny day but Mt Cook was shrouded in cloud and unlikely to say hello. After settling in Rees and Keli found the free go-carts and were soon whizzing around the site.
We decided that we would walk into Fox to shop and look around.
In The town we met Nick who runs the Top10 site and we asked him about the best deal for Glacier flights. He took us to see Fox Helicopter Services who advised a early flight to see the best of the mountains. We booked on the 9am flight. After a quick Handle and some hot chips we got some shopping in for tea, another BBQ.
We had been told about glow worms in a near by wood so at dusk we headed into the wood to find the glow worms, we were not disappointed and the wood came alive with little green fluorescent lights
We returned to the campsite and all enjoyed our BBQ before an early night.